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Sean Payton sends a strong message about the state of the Denver Broncos heading into the NFL trade deadline
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos 1-5 start to the 2023 season was the worst start to a season in franchise history since 1994.
After the disastrous start to the Sean Payton era, reports began swirling that the Broncos would become big-time sellers at the trade deadline, with names such as Justin Simmons, Garett Bolles, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and even Pat Surtain II included in those reports.
With NFL trade deadline now on the doorstep, on Oct. 31 at 2 p.m., Denver’s head coach talked about the team’s approach now that they are on a two-game win streak.
“There’s no approach,” Payton said on Sunday, following the Broncos’ 24-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, when asked about the team’s approach to the trade deadline after two-straight wins. “Honestly, and you guys know this, it’s a busy time of the year and there’s pressure on news media to be on top of potential stories, trade stories. The teams that aren’t doing as well always fall into this position, and I understand it, but we’re not the team looking to go out and buy.”
“We can’t control the buyers that call,” the head coach continued. “We always pick the phone up—you have to professionally, but that’s it. This doesn’t—we have a plan on where we see ourselves, and that’s an honest answer. When I see or hear things, I chuckle because I’m thinking, ‘Well I haven’t talked to anyone about that,’ and if I haven’t, then it’s probably not true.”
Payton politely called all of the reports surrounding the Broncos rumors, not reports.
On Monday, after digesting the Broncos’ potential season-altering win against Kansas City, Payton doubled down on his stance.
“We’re not openly—and I said this yesterday. We’re not openly or even remotely shopping anyone,” Payton stated. “People called? Sure, they have. Typically, the buyer wants the media to know they’ve called—not the seller.”
Entering the team’s Bye Week, Payton made it clear his focus is on preparing for Denver’s next game, against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10. The head coach admitted he will, at some point leading up to the deadline, meet with George Paton to discuss potential trades, but that’s not his main focus.
While Payton maintained the same stance when it came to the team not looking to trade any of their players, he tweaked his stance when it came to if the Broncos will be buyers.
Sunday after the game, Payton admitted the team was not looking to go out and add players before the deadline.
On Monday, however, the head coach left the door open for Denver to make a move.
“There’s nothing to say that we might not be in that business,” Payton said, when asked if the team would potentially be a buyer before the deadline. “You’ve seen us add a few players. Some guys go to the practice squad. That’ll continue to some extent.”
Denver’s already made two significant moves since the season started by trading Randy Gregory to the 49ers and releasing Frank Clark. Payton explained that typically other moves or trades in the NFL won’t happen until “later in the process.”
The deadline is quickly approaching.
Thanks to a two-game win streak, and snapping the team’s 16-game losing streak to the Chiefs, it does not appear the Broncos will be tearing down their team.
In fact, Sean Payton left the door open to potentially adding to it.